The results of this study represent 14,133 participants across 6 continents, with data from 19 nations. The most consistent finding across nations is that both young people and women experienced significantly more psychological distress as a result of COVID. Moreover, younger persons and women showed more negative effects of COVID if they lived in societies with more pre-existing inequalities. Parallel to this was a tendency across national contexts for older participants to experience less negative impact associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular showing that older participants had less psychological anxiety, less resource stress, and less financial stress. Women perceived COVID as more threatening and reported more psychological distress as a result of COVID-19. However, these results were generally qualified by culture-bound differences and evidence suggests that there are unique factors found in cultures that may be able to explain this. Follow-up analyses suggested these cultural differences may be consistent with the presence of previously existing inequalities and socioecological stressors in these countries worsening the impact of the pandemic. It is therefore crucial to take into consideration culturally sensitive frameworks in understanding the psychology of pandemics.

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